When I read Max Blumenthal’s smear piece on James O’Keefe yesterday, something about it didn’t pass the stink test. Part of it is that it was, well, written by Max Blumenthal, son of Sid “Dirty Liar” Blumenthal, who is one of the Dems’ big smear merchants. Part of it, as I noted yesterday, is that a lot of the piece looked like assumptions based on assumed guilt by association.
I was, od course, right. David Weigel writes for the Washington “Independent”, a site that’s under the same “Center for Independent Media” umbrella as the Minnesoros “Independent”. But while Weigel is a pretty committed lefty, he’s also a reporter with enough integrity that I usually pay attention when he writes.
Read the whole thing – which takes down, point by point, pretty much everything in the Blumenthal piece, from the left. on a pure fact-checking basis. The guilt-by-association that Blumenthal laboriously-yet-lazily declared, based on second-hand sourcing that putatively traced back to Weigel, would seem to be largely debunked.
One of many samples:
In my original post, I wrote that “O’Keefe’s position at the Leadership Institute gave him some ownership of the event, but in general the crowd consisted of conservatives and libertarians who wanted to see some controversy.” What I meant was that unlike the reporters in the room or the college students watching the spectacle, O’Keefe was Epstein’s co-worker. He didn’t wander in off the street — he knew his colleague was planning an event, knew it was so controversial it was moved out of the building, and he tagged along. But to some readers, that sentence suggested that O’Keefe was, indeed, a planner of the event. He absolutely wasn’t.
There’s some sloppy reporting on the left:
I’m really not used to being part of a story like this. In one week, James O’Keefe — who I’ve been writing about for months — has been linked to an organization that gave me a fellowship (the Collegiate Network) and an event I happened to be at in 2006. So I apologize for giving the impression that I confirmed all the details of the OPP and Salon stories, and I’m glad that The Village Voice has clarified its own reporting using my research.
Which isn’t to say that Weigel’s not going to close ranks with the rest of his crowd…:
As for my original point that there’s a conservative subculture that indulges in extremist politics with the expectation that no one will find out and care — well, I stand by that, and I think this episode has gone some way toward changing that.
…because he’s right; in and among the ranks of conservatives, there are some nutcases. It’s in my interest as a mainstream center-rigtht conservative to note that it’s a vanishingly tiny minority (which is the truth, although it never quite vanishes; they get slavish drive-by coverage whenever there’s a Tea Party, for example); it’s in the left’s to create the impression that it’s the majority.
Which is why Blumenthal wrote the piece, omitting all exculpatory context and torturing Weigel’s statements out of all resemblence to reality to begin with.